Burnout in Physical Therapists: Finding The Right Balance

Curv Health Team


Curv Health Team


Aug 26, 2023

Burnout in Physical Therapists: Finding The Right Balance

As a Physical Therapist, you’re probably aware of the prevalency of burnout in your industry. In a recent study conducted by the American Physical Therapy Association, 82% of the 285 therapists who responded to the survey reported experiencing burnout. In this blog, we look at the importance of self-care for physical therapists, highlight the signs and impact of burnout, and provide practical strategies to restore balance and well-being.

Understanding Burnout

Burnout is especially common when you're trying to handle too much and not taking enough time to rest and take care of yourself. For Physical Therapists, the relentless schedules, administrative burdens, and emotional toll can push even the best professionals to their limits, affecting both their personal lives and the quality of care they provide.

If you’re wondering if you’re being affected by burnout, here are four signs to consider:

Emotional Exhaustion:

  • You often feel drained and fatigued, finding it hard to face another day of work. There can also be a drop in your energy levels, and tasks that once seemed routine now constantly overwhelm you.

Reduced Empathy or Detachment:

  • Even if you were once passionate and fully dedicated, you may now find it challenging to connect or show high levels of compassion. This can lead you to distance yourself from patients, co-workers, and/or your job.

Decreased Job Performance:

  • You find there's a decline in the quality of care you provide. Such as mistakes occurring more often, or keep up with routine tasks or staying updated with the latest treatment methodologies is a struggle.

Physical Symptoms:

  • Beyond the emotional strain, burnout can also display physically. Symptoms like headaches, and sleep disturbances can become more frequent. You might also notice increased fatigue, or find yourself being sick more often due to a weakened immune system.

Stress Management Techniques

One of the cornerstones of preventing burnout is effective stress management.

Physical Therapists like you often find themselves in high-pressure situations, handling multiple cases and responsibilities. Incorporating stress management techniques into your daily routines can make a substantial difference. Techniques such as mindfulness meditation, deep breathing exercises, and progressive muscle relaxation can help keep your job’s stresses at bay.

Finding Work-Life Balance for a Sustainable Career

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is essential, especially for physical therapists like you who often work long hours, sometimes at the cost of your personal lives. It's not about compromising patient care but effectively managing both professional duties and personal well-being.

Curv Health supports this balance by empowering Physical Therapists to start their own practice. Being your own boss means less hours and no more split fee like at traditional clinics. Curv Health also streamlines much of the administration processes, which means you won’t have to spend your evenings or mornings catching up on chart notes.


In the demanding world of physical therapy, burnout poses a significant challenge, affecting both personal well-being and patient care. However, it can be avoided.


  • Try to be on the lookout of the signs of burnout
  • Practice stress management techniques if you begin feeling overwhelmed
  • Consider cutting down hour at your clinic and offering online services where more of the money ends up in your own pocket versus someone else’s

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